About Dr. Laurence B. Brown
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
A graduate of Cornell University, Brown University Medical School, and George Washington University Hospital residency program, Dr. Brown is an ophthalmic surgeon, specializing in cataract and refractive surgery. A retired Air Force officer, he is the medical director of a major eye center in Saudi Arabia. For the past twenty-five years, he has divided his time between America, England, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. The author of three books of comparative religion, The First and Final Commandment, MisGod’ed and God’ed, he has also published three stirring “faction” novels, entitled The Eighth Scroll, The Zion Deception, and The Returned. Dr. Brown and his wife live in Medina, Saudi Arabia with their daughter and an ever-changing assortment of parrots and hamsters.
Having repeatedly been asked about how I became Muslim, I have decided to tell the story one last time, but this time on paper. However, I feel conversion stories are worthless unless related with the lessons learned, and it is with those lessons that I intend to begin. No doubt, there is a certain fascination with conversion stories, and for good reason. Frequently they involve dramatic life-altering events, sufficient to shock the convert out of the materialistic world and into the spiritual. Those who experience such life dramas are brought face to face with the bigger issues of life for the first time, forcing them to ask the ‘Purpose of Life’ questions, such as ‘Who made us?’ and ‘Why are we here?’ But there are other common elements to ‘conversion’ stories, and one of them is that the convert is humbled to his or her knees at such moments, and …
Q: You have been very open about using an editor to help you through the writing process. What role did they play?
A: Most of my professional writing experience was in the field of non-fiction. My first four books, The First and Final Commandment, MisGod’ed, God’ed, and …
A: Nah. Why bother? It’s only the difference between life and death in the literary world. Seriously, unless you are an unusually skillful writer, a …
Why did you decide to write The Eighth Scroll?
I couldn’t resist. It was the setting of the greatest adventure I could imagine. The scrolls’ keepers hid the Dead Sea Scrolls away in the incredibly bloody period of the Jewish Revolt. Then the Romans massacred them in the most horrific manner, laid siege to Jerusalem, wiped out the insurgents and destroyed the Jewish Temple. Jump to present day when my story, The Eighth Scroll, unfolds, and the intrigue is no less dynamic, the real-world concerns vivid and viable, and the tension no less intense.
1) Explain how you came to write The Eighth Scroll, including any interesting experiences in doing so or getting it published:
About seven years ago, I was researching material for another book I was writing at the Library of Congress. An Arab gentleman was sitting next to me at the reading tables, and we fell into conversation. Eventually, I asked what he was working on. Now, anybody who has spent time in the reading rooms at the Library of Congress knows that it is a tense environment. ..
What gave you the idea to write The Eighth Scroll?
Answer: I, like many people, wondered what was so interesting about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Who cares about a bunch of two thousand year-old scrolls that tell us what we already know? Who cares? I’ll tell you who cares: Every secret service and every revealed religion in the world. When I learned why they care, I simply had to write The Eighth Scroll to explain.